By Annie Kurnick By Annie Kurnick | August 16, 2021 | People Feature
THE LEADING LADY OF MIAMI’S DISTINGUISHED CONTRACTING SCENE TALKS ABOUT HER JOURNEY AND WHAT IS NEXT FOR OUR CITY.
Starting a career in construction at only 23 years old, Robyn Raphael Dynan has launched herself into a victorious position as one of the leading powerhouses in the competitive world of Miami’s luxury contracting industry. Known as the woman behind the build-outs of Miami’s most prestigious projects such as KOMODO Restaurant, Zuma, MILA, COTE Korean Steakhouse and STORY Nightclub, Dynan’s talent and intuition goes beyond leadership and business, but delves into the categories of innovation and courage. Being the proud president of South Florida’s leading general contracting firm RCC Associates, Dynan speaks her truth about what it’s like to be the top-woman in such a male-dominated industry, her secrets for success and what is next for the city of Miami. @robynraphaeldynan @rccassociates
What is it like being the top woman of such a male-dominated industry? What was the journey like to reach that point?
"Working in a male-dominated industry has definitely been an interesting journey. I have been so fortunate that my mom, Beverly Raphael, paved the way to making it acceptable to see a woman sitting at a table otherwise full of men in hard hats. I began my career in construction when I was 23 years old, so not only was I coming in as a woman, but a very young woman in the most entry-level position. I quickly found that using my natural strengths such as communication, organization and diplomacy would end up being the backbone of my career. Learning the construction business from the inside out has given me a unique perspective on managing different positions within the company, while also allowing me to jump in with both feet when there is an issue that needs to be dealt with swiftly."
What is your secret recipe to success?
"I pride myself on being extremely relationship-oriented. I am a good listener, which has enabled me to learn from the great talent we have always been able to attract at RCC. Being objective and fair-minded in difficult situations is also a priority for me. In our business we live in the “grey” – nothing is black or white, and you have to be able to be impartial and unbiased in every situation, and strive do the right thing. At RCC, we pride ourselves on operating ethically and with transparency, which is a huge part of our culture and our positive reputation in the industry."
Best piece of advice you have gotten in your career?
"The best advice I have been given is from my mom and mentor. She said, “You don’t have to be the loudest voice in the room. When you have something important to say, thatis when you speak, and then everyone will listen.” I use that advice in every aspect of my life."
Miami is booming with a plethora of new projects, shops and restaurant openings. How are you and your team keeping up with business? Are you planning on updating or reinventing any of your existing projects to get ahead?
"We are so fortunate to be busier than we have ever been! Miami is booming with many dynamic new projects that we are so grateful to be a part of – restaurants, nightlife, entertainment venues. The city has long been a hot spot for fun and sun, but we’re working with numerous national and international clients who are elevating the level of quality, substance and diversity in Miami. After nearly 40 years building here, we are about to open a satellite office in the heart of the Miami Design District. It’s allowing us to recruit a new base of talent in the market as we grow. We have a lot of clients expanding both in their existing locations and developing new concepts not far from the original venues due to their overwhelming success and how on fire the Miami market is!"
What do you think is so unique about Miami and how do you try to embody the culture of the city into your work?
"Cultural diversity! Walking down any street in Miami you hear Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian…it sounds like a cliché at this point, but Miami is truly a melting pot, which makes for such an interesting and equally diverse array of concepts for us to build. We get really excited about helping bring to life our clients’ – who are from all over the world – unique visions. The personal investment and passion are palpable in our office, on-site and at client meetings. At any grand opening, the pride we feel to share in the realization of the client’s dream is obvious."
What are some of your favorite spots in the city?
"My favorite Miami spots are MILA, Cote Korean Steakhouse and Zuma, which has been a classic from the day it opened just over a decade ago. And I promise I’m not just saying that because RCC built them – they’re so different from one another, but each boasts an amazing menu and cuisine, spectacular ambiance and a vibrant only-in-Miami scene."
What is next?
"This year we began the full renovation of the iconic Mayfair Hotel in Coconut Grove, which is a very special and high-profile project – we love playing a part in the renaissance of a property that has so much history within its walls. We are also working closely with several of Miami’s top architects, designers and restaurateurs to help plan ahead for their next ventures. Because we have a well-developed preconstruction department, we often engage with clients and their consultants early on to provide budgetary pricing, working closely with the design team to make sure design intent and budget are properly managed. Looking forward, RCC will continue to build restaurants, hotels and retail all over the country from Hawaii to Puerto Rico - that’s what we love to do!"
Photography by: Courtesy of RCC Associates